Fascinated by fashion and happen to be in Sydney? Explore the grace and the glamour of the Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. Here are the displays you don’t want to miss…
Aussie favourites Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman and Kylie Minogue have all worn Collette Dinnigan designs, as have supermodels such as Helena Christensen and Cindy Crawford – and a few royals, too (think the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Mary). Photos of celebrities wearing the frocks are displayed next to each dress so you can do a little celeb-spotting and, in the case of Taylor Swift, marvel at the short hems! The beaded outfits in the “metallic” room are especially stunning and even a little rock ’n’ roll.
Swatches, ballerina dolls, old photos, vintage sunglasses and ornate jellewery line the walls in the room dedicated to items that have inspired the fashion designer’s creations over the years. The colour-coded display is a feast for the senses and, like everything else you’ll see, just begging to be touched (you can’t!). This room is an insight into Dinnigan’s creative process, showing that inspiration can strike in the most unusual of places. You’ll find iPads here, too, so you can watch all of her runway shows and see her back catalogue of collections.
All laced up
Lace, in all its forms, is a hallmark of Dinnigan’s pieces. While many of the dresses on display are made of the delicate fabric, there’s also an entire room solely dedicated to the craft. Here, lace designs are shown on striking illuminated mannequins so every intricate stitch of the patterning is visible. These designs all play with one of Dinnigan’s recurring themes: blurring the line between outerwear and underwear.
Indulge your inner bride
Ever dreamed of getting married in a designer gown? (Who hasn’t, right?) Well, there are three dresses here to make any bride-to-be drool, and they’re a good example of Dinnigan’s more classic designs. All lace, beading and sleek lines, her elegant wedding dresses have been worn by celebrities such as Miranda Kerr and Sarah Murdoch. Dinnigan has crafted this exhibition so you wander past her early designs, celebrity frocks and lacy creations first before you reach the wedding gowns for a big finale. To make sure you experience the exhibition as she intended, take the ramp up to the first floor of the museum rather than the lift.
Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced is on at the Powerhouse Museum until August.